A preliminary investigation on the relationship between virtues and pathological internet use among Chinese adolescents

  • Y. Z
  • Z. Y
  • W. D
 et al. 
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Background: Pathological Internet Use (PIU) has become a global issue associated with the increasing number of Internet users. Previous studies concerned both the interpersonal and intrapersonal vulnerable factors and the corresponding models. However, a limited amount of research has explored the relationship between positive factors and PIU.Objective: The current investigation attempted to clarify the relationship between virtues and PIU among Chinese adolescents; it also sought to explore the specific contributions of the three virtues. Virtue was the core concept in positive psychology and the Values in Action Classification. A recent study demonstrated that there might be three universal virtues (relationship, vitality, and conscientiousness).Methods: A cross-sectional sample of adolescents aged 12-17 years were recruited in 2013. A total of 674 adolescents (males = 302, females = 372; junior high school = 296, senior high school = 378) from eight junior and senior high schools in four provinces of Mainland China completed a package of psychological inventories, including the Chinese Virtues Questionnaire (CVQ) and the Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale (APIUS). The mean age of the current sample was 15.10 years (SD = 1.81) with an average of 5.31 years' length (SD = 2.09) of Internet use.Results: A total of 9.50% participants exhibited significant symptoms of PIU. Male students (Mmale = 2.50) had significantly higher scores on PIU than female students (Mfemale = 2.25). Relationship (β = 24) and conscientiousness (β = 21) negatively predicted PIU, whereas vitality (β =.25) positively predicted PIU. Dominance analysis further revealed that relationship and conscientiousness could explain 81% variance of PIU, and vitality only accounted for another 19%.Conclusions: Relationship and conscientiousness were possible protective factors of pathological Internet users, while vitality was vulnerable. The results could be helpful in screening " at-risk" Internet users (low relationship and conscientiousness as well as high vitality). Future intervention strategies could focus on how to enhance relationship and conscientiousness and on how to reduce vitality. © 2014 Zhang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • China
  • Chinese
  • Internet
  • adolescent
  • adolescent disease
  • adolescent pathological internet use scale
  • article
  • chinese virtues questionnaire
  • clinical assessment tool
  • conscientiousness
  • cross-sectional study
  • female
  • high school
  • human
  • human relation
  • internet addiction
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • morality
  • priority journal
  • psychology
  • questionnaire
  • screening test
  • vitality

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  • Zhang Y.

  • Yang Z.

  • Duan W.

  • Tang X.

  • Gan F.

  • Wang F.

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